New Minimum Wage Discussion

I think there are still so many unanswered questions on this topic. Certainly some of the implementation questions will be answered. But reading through what has been provided: are campuses meeting to discuss the ramifications? How will the campuses handle the situations where your student employees (work study and others) make more than your CSEA employees? How will this impact the cost of services like meal plans for the students? I think many students and families value work study as a part of their financial aid package. How will this affect enrollment if we fund fewer work study positions?

Kathy Flaherty

NYSFAAA Secretary

1 thought on “New Minimum Wage Discussion

  1. Great points, Kathy! I didn’t think about this issue as broadly as you did but, yes, there are broader impacts to this beyond the federal funding limits that all schools will face. This won’t be just an incremental jump like it was this year going up $.25 from $8.75 to $9.00/hr. We will need to think about who we can award work study to, what can our supervisors absorb (e.g. can they accept having fewer students or accept fewer hours of availability per student), and how much the award amounts will be.
    I’m skeptical of what extent the state will assist in funding the increase in these wages. That takes political will in a state that everyone believes taxes its citizens too much anyway. Also, what would they take away to make good on their “promise”.
    Beyond the challenge of funding the increase given current federal funding for work study, the socioeconomic issues this presents are interesting. I already did a quick calculation to see how my salary compares per hour versus the $15/hr minimum wage. I’m still above but certainly not more than double! I will likely bring this to the attention of my union at the next opportunity. Perhaps this issue will come into play in their negotiation of the next contract. If I’m doing this calculation, I’m sure other full time staff members are doing the same thing. The result of their calculation could make them unhappy at the thought that an 18 year old kid is getting the same or close to the same wage as they are despite having no work experience and no advanced credentials. How will this reality affect their interactions with student employees? How will it affect their attitude toward their job? Will they be willing to put in extra time?
    I don’t know how this will affect enrollment. Lots of factors to consider. If there are fewer jobs available at one school compared to another of similar size, it could affect enrollment to a limited extent but I suspect it would be minimal as academic quality, location, programs, etc seem to drive college choice.

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